Taylor Swift lyrics are always consistent. Whether she’s (over)eager about a new romance, tearing apart her myriad of exes, paying tribute to a fallen fan, encouraging her young fans to embrace their youth or examining the trappings of fame, she always tells a story.
The country crossover’s ability to “show” instead of “tell” in her writing shows a literary wisdom beyond her 23 years, even when her subject matter and attitudes seem, on the surface, to be stuck in high school. It’s calculated, it’s cunning and it’s effective. Swift balances relatability with vivid imagery, and she makes it look easy. It’s not, which is why we’re paying homage to her songwriting with the 10 best Taylor Swift lyrics.
“Your eyes whispered, ‘Have we met?’ / Across the room your silhouette / Starts to make its way to me / The playful conversation starts / Counter all your quick remarks / Like passing notes in secrecy.”
“‘Cause I’m not your princess, this ain’t a fairytale / I’m gonna find someone someday who might actually treat me well / This is a big world, that was a small town / There in my rear view mirror disappearing now / And it’s too late for you and your white horse / Now it’s too late for you and your white horse to catch me now.”
“Before you, I’d only dated self-indulgent takers / Who took all of their problems out on me / But you carry my groceries and now I’m always laughing / I love you because you have given me no choice but to / Stay, stay, stay.”
“Photo album on the counter / Your cheeks were turning red / You used to be a little kid with glasses in a twin-size bed / And your mother’s telling stories about you on the tee ball team / You tell me about your past, thinking your future was me.”
“You’re in the car on the way to the movies / And you’re mortified your mom’s dropping you off / At 14 there’s just so much you can’t do / And you can’t wait to move out someday and call your own shots / But don’t make her drop you off around the block / Remember that she’s getting older too / And don’t lose the way that you dance around in your PJs getting ready for school.”
“Now it’s big black cars, and Riviera views / And your lover in the foyer doesn’t even know you / And your secrets end up splashed on the news front page / And they tell you that you’re lucky / But you’re so confused / ‘Cause you don’t feel pretty, you just feel used / And all the young things line up to take your place / Another name goes up in lights / You wonder if you’ll make it out alive.”
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